Maximizing the time spent overseas for a business travel requires proper preparation before leaving the place of origin. This will not only make the business trip safe but more productive as well. Preparing for a business trip overseas is unlike planning a local business trip. International business trip requires more than just scheduling the flight itinerary details and meetings or making a list of what to pack, it involves researching the host country’s culture, proper etiquette and protocols. It is also important to get as much information about travel warnings or alerts regarding the country of destination for personal safety.
Besides all these, preparing for the foreign business encounter is as important to get the most out of the time spent abroad. Have an open understanding towards various behaviors, values and ways of conducting business. Lack of familiarity with the social customs and business practices of the country of destination could undermine the business productivity, opportunity and goal. Here are some tips to make the overseas business trip successful.
Prepare the Itinerary
The business itinerary should reflect what the company’s goal. Confirm two or three appointments prior to the trip. Make sure that the schedule is spaced out comfortably and flexible enough to accommodate unexpected issues like transportation delays.
Get Informed on the Culture
Take the time to learn about the destination country’s culture, history, and customs. Read books or attend cross cultural training and seminars. Learn about the various negotiating techniques, gift-giving customs, and views about punctuality.
Learn Etiquette Practices and Protocols
Understanding ahead of time how to greet a business counterpart and manage appointments plays a huge role in the success of the business trip. Also, consider the country’s holidays, business manner, humor, dietary practices, and religious customs.
Learn the Native Tongue
Business associates will greatly appreciate any efforts to learn their native language. This is especially true if they do not speak English or uncomfortable to speak it. If studying the language is not possible, hire a local translator. Other options include using a translator application that can be downloaded on a smart phone.
Be Aware of the Travel Advisories
Governments usually issue advisories regarding safety concerns that may affect the travelers. They release advisories for terrorism, wars, natural disasters, outbreaks and more. Make the decision to travel with a well-informed knowledge about the country of destination. Have a backup plan for unexpected issues and be aware of what the US embassy can do and can’t do.